Black Belly of the Tarantula

The Black Belly of the Tarantula
Directed by Paolo Cavara
Produced by Marcello Danon
Written by Marcello Danon
Lucile Laks
Starring Giancarlo Giannini
Claudine Auger
Barbara Bouchet
Rossella Falk
Music by Ennio Morricone
Cinematography Marcello Gatti
Edited by Mario Morra
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release dates
  • 12 August 1971 (1971-08-12)
Running time
98 minutes
Country Italy

The Black Belly of the Tarantula is a 1971 Italian film directed by Paolo Cavara. It is one of many Italian giallo films to be inspired by Dario Argento's successful debut thriller The Bird with the Crystal Plumage. The film was shot on location in Rome, Italy in 1970. Though fairly obscure for many years the film has recently made a comeback thanks to the rising fan base for the giallo genre. The film has gained much praise from the horror community, one writer at cited it as the best giallo ever made. Blue Underground Entertainment released the film on DVD in 2006.


A mysterious killer is attacking women associated with a blackmail conspiracy. The deranged murderer seizes his victims by paralyzing them with a needle and then slicing open their bellies (in the same way tarantulas are killed by the black wasp or spider wasp). It is up to reluctant Inspector Tellini to find out who the killer is, before he or his girlfriend too becomes a target.


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